Vinyl Throwback
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Vinyl Throwback

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The best kept secret in music


"Tom Warning"

Northeastern Times - Vinyl Throwback

A real throwback band

By Tom Waring
Times Staff Writer

What can music fans expect during a set by the rock ‘n’ roll band Vinyl Throwback?
"Forty-five minutes of energy," said vocalist Johnny Higgs Jr. "You won’t be bored."
Higgs, a Kensington native who lives in Holmesburg, is part of a five-man band. The rest of the lineup consists of guitarists Joel DeGarmo and Morten "G.P." Petersen, bass player James "Wazz" Wasilewski and drummer Demetrius Millner.
DeGarmo (upstate New York), Petersen (Denmark) and Wasilewski (Cape May County, N.J.) are all out-of-towners who’ve settled in Port Richmond. Millner lives in Oak Lane.
Individually, the men are different. Some are white, some are black, some have short hair and some have long hair. They come from different musical backgrounds and have been together for just six months.
Yet, on stage, the band comes together as one to produce what they think is a great sound.
"It works," Millner said. "It’s a nice gel."
Higgs and Wazz have known each other the longest, having played in bands together for eight years, mostly in Florida.
DeGarmo and G.P. have been part of the band for about a year. Millner came on board in March.
The band members agree that the current makeup is the one to take them places in the music industry.
"This is the right five guys," G.P. said.
Vinyl Throwback rehearses about three or four times a week at Rhawn Street Studios, at 4930 Rhawn St. in Holmesburg.
The band mates are veterans of the music business and have been inspired by the likes of the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Sly and the Family Stone and Aerosmith.
"We all have different influences," Wazz said.
For now, at least, Vinyl Throwback is rehearsing more than it plays live shows. The band generally plays once or twice a week.
The group has played at Big Nick’s Saloon on Bustleton Avenue, along with Philadelphia venues such as the Pontiac Grille, Grape Street Pub and Brownies 38th Street and suburban locales like the Speakeasy Café Down Under in Upper Darby and the Rusty Nail Tavern in Ardmore. One recent gig took the band to the Asbury Park Arts Festival.
The band’s rock music is a mix of classic, modern, metal, glam and 1980s, with some funk and other sounds.
The musicians believe they have a good stage presence.
They say that Higgs captures the crowd’s attention as the front man, DeGarmo and G.P. are excellent guitarists and Wazz and Millner add rhythm on the bass and drums.
The band is improving every day, members say, and their live performances are a must see.
"It’s a helluva show," Millner said.
Vinyl Throwback takes pride in performing original music. Higgs is the primary songwriter. He’s written "tons" of songs, and the band plays about 18 of them during sets.
There are no cover tunes for these guys.
As Millner explains, "You don’t become a legend playing other people’s music."
The fivesome have made a commitment to make the band work. They are full-time musicians, all of whom have relocated here and become good friends. Though hailing from elsewhere, they view themselves as a local band.
Still, they want to expand their horizons.
The group is excited with its New York management company, Strictly Entertainment Worldwide. Manager James Womack is a straight shooter who doesn’t make empty promises.
Womack is working to line up Vinyl Throwback for some New York shows. The band is eager to play seven days a week in and out of the tri-state area and on the college circuit, with dreams of performing on the West Coast and overseas. It’s all about building its fan base.
In addition, the band would like to produce a quality full-length album. For now, it’s recorded songs on a demo.
Of course, the group would like to sign a major record deal, but would want to maintain its creativity and independence.
The band thinks its music has mass appeal, with fans ranging from teenagers to middle-aged adults.
Versatility, too, is a strength of the band, the members agree.
"We can go from jazz to hard rock to Southern rock," Higgs said.
The members of Vinyl Throwback know that the music business isn’t an easy one in which to succeed. It can be easy to give up.
They joke that they’ve tried to put their guitars away for good, but the instrument keeps coming out of the case. Higgs has retired four times from music and even fired himself from a band.
But, recording music and playing it live has become addictive to the men of Vinyl Throwback
"If we didn’t love it," Higgs said, "we definitely wouldn’t do it." ••
Reporter Tom Waring can be reached at 215-354-3034 or - Northeastern Times

"Vinyl Throwback, feature of the month"

Vinyl Throwback classic hard rockers are just that a throwback to the seventies and eighties rock music. Throwback really comes alive in their live performances where they are just a free rocking, retro, feel good rock band. I was able to get a few moments with Morten G.P. to discuss over the phone various ideas that sum up the band. Members of Vinyl Throwback include Johnny Higgs Jr, vocals, Morten G.P., guitars, Wazz, bass and Demetrius, drums.

Susie : What genre do you consider yourselves to be in?
VT: Classic rock. Rock ‘N Roll, hard rock

Susie: Who are your main influences?
VT: Difficult to say because we are five guys from different backgrounds that’s what you are hearing in our music. A few influences would have to be Rolling Stones and Black Crows, Guns N Roses, AC/DC, Scorpions and Aerosmith.

Susie: What can our readers expect to hear on your new release?
VT: Most of our music is recorded live in the studio. The music is like how it sounds in the studio, but without a big budget, but still gives us the sound that we want. That’s mainly what they are going to hear right now.

Susie: Why did you choose this type of music to express yourselves?
VT: We choose this type of music to express ourselves because that is mainly what we grew up with. That’s what we feel like…rock ‘n roll inside of us.

Susie: What inspires you to craft a song?
VT: Every day life including people that you meet out playing shows these people give us inspiration.

Susie: What is your ultimate goal with this band?
VT: To play around the United States and after that go overseas and play in Europe that would be our goal.

Susie: With your musical platform what are you trying to convey to the world?
VT: Being that rock ‘n roll is still out there and the old bands keep to torch and they are doing a good job so that new bands can out and new bands can come out and show that rock ‘n roll is still alive.

Susie: What matters most to personally and professionally?
VT: What matters to me personally is that we always deliver a great show when we perform live. It’s very important to me that people feel they are getting a really good show when we perform live.

Susie: How do you want your fans to remember you?
VT: That they are not going to be disappointed at all. They are getting a kick ass rock ‘n roll show when they come out and see us perform. They get 45 minutes or 1 hour so that the fans are having a good time and really enjoying the music. They won’t be disappointed for sure.

Susie: What would you have done differently with the CD?
VT: I wouldn’t have done anything differently other than to maybe have more time, but that would have cost more money. I would have put a little more money into the CD and have more time to adjust everything.

Susie: What are some significant experiences you’ve had touring?
VT: We haven’t been touring yet. We have been playing in Philadelphia and we are getting a tour set up right now. We have no experience touring so far so we are looking forward to getting out there.

Susie: What was the experience recording the album?
VT: That was the first time that we were in the studio together that we learned how to work together. We learned how to combine ideas. It was a good experience, but we were a little under pressure because we didn’t have that much time. It was a really good experience for us cause we got real close together. We found out how we worked together. When you are in the studio you are up against four walls and the five guys in the band were together all of the time and sometimes we would get on each other’s nerves.

Susie: What is the most amazing thing that has happened to your band since it was formed?
VT: It took us some time to get the line up we have right now. I think that is the most amazing thing that we’ve got these guys together now plus we have this upcoming tour together coming up in January.

Susie: Answers to this question are from both Morten G. P. and Johnny Higgs Jr.:
“Our favorite songs include:
“Down to Me,” that is my personal favorite song. It’s about a girl in a relationship and sometimes she thinks that she is on top and she realizes that she comes all the way down to the same level with the person that she is with. This tune is about getting let down by everyone in your path from your lady to your best friend. People are fallible and will disappoint you, because after all nobody’s perfect. It’s about getting burned growing up and depending on yourself-not leaning on anybody. I dig playing this song live because it’s got a good beat and vibe. That songs has got and
eighties vibe like an eighties hair band. It’s mainly 1,2,3,4 and rock it out.

“Huddle,” that’s just a plain love song. It’s a love ballad; it’s a really beautiful song that starts slow and with clean acoustic and then heads down again.. Boy meets, girl then girl gets tired of boy being a degenerate piece of shit. Boy looses girl, and boy finally realizes he loved her too late. I hate cheesy rock “just for the charts” phony love songs. But in my defense this song came for a real spot. It was a tragedy in my life and not me sitting around with a bunch of dudes going—“Yeah, we need to make
it sound real sad here” Big gay chorus. It came very fast to me and I went with it. It’s not Desmond Child or Diane Warren “lets write a hit”. But it sure sounds that way and I do quite mean it when I sing it cause it does put me in a “big hurt” Isaac Hayes frame of mind. But it’s still a lame ballad anyway you slice it. But it’s one I can live with cause it’s not contrived. I hate playing this one live cause all the so called "real
deal rock dudes" call me a pussy! F... them! It takes a real man to sing a love song! At least that’s what I say to myself to keep me from feeling like a complete punk! It works 'cause I keep singing it! That song has a lot of good feeling and dynamics.

“Horse” I saw a picture on the internet called “downward spiral”. It was a quite disturbing photos of a bunch of ladies mug shots. When I looked real close all of the mug shots were of the same girl over a period of about ten years. The first picture she’s all young and beautiful. Each picture up to the most recent she gets more brutal looking. By the last mug shot she looks like a complete dishrag. She make ME look pretty. I thought to myself what could turn this one time beautiful girl into a monster? Why is she getting arrested every six months for the last ten years? Oh,
yes…it must be heroin or a Keith Richards used to call it “Henry”!! It’s a song about spiking vein and shooting up. It’s a song for many friends too! I like playing it live cause it’s just full of energy!

Vinyl Throwback’s debut album,” 3 Chord Bathroom Poetry,” and “Vinyl Throwback Vol. 1 Just Another Saturday Night,” on Rottweller Farms Records is a mellow and somewhat endearing tribute to the music that inspires Vinyl Throwback music from the ‘70s and ‘80s when Rock ‘N Roll was fun, glamorous and dangerous.

Check them out on or
Interview by Susie Salva ~ - Susie Salva, West Coast Rockers


3 Chord Bathroom Poetry, Vinyl Throwback vol.1


Feeling a bit camera shy


It's not debatable that life can suck and blow. But along with the bad and the ugly, there are intermissions of good memorable times, starving to be great.
Much like the retro rock band Vinyl Throwback. It's all in the name. Not only giving tribute to their former fathers, the rock and roll kings; The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Scorpions, Bowie, and New York Dolls. Vinyl Throwback adds the vibrant color, to the black and white spectrum of music today. Finding much inspiration in the music from the 70's and 80's, when Rock and Roll meant good dirty fun, and get on your feet sound.

Vinyl Throwback first emerged out of the streets of Philadelphia, when singer Johnny Higgs erupted as "the epitome of rock". He collaborated with incendiary bass player - Colin. After jamming for some time, Morten G.P. came to the table - thrashing his six-string axe. Finally the puzzle was complete when drummer Demetrius, came into the mix - adding the force behind the saucy percussions. Forming a multi-dimensional unit of melodically raw, unmercifully talented guys.

The music speaks for itself. Vinyl Throwback isn't only about chords, melody, lyrics and range. They're about a good time. Letting go and being free in this life, we're all stuck in as time ticks, so contractedly around our necks. So loosen that rope, and climb on down as Vinyl Throwback takes your soul out for a drink.